Ljajić: Increasing economic activity and attracting investments

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunication Rasim Ljajić stated today that the only solution for the decline in the turnover of stores and for the grey market is to increase economic activity, use all the local resources and attract new foreign investments.

In the morning program of TV Pink, Ljajić said that the decline in turnover is around 8.3 percent, that the situation is similar throughout the region, and that the average receipt at retail stores was 500 RSD two years ago, while now it is 365 RSD.

He pointed out that the greatest losses are the result of smuggling and illicit trade in tobacco and petroleum products in the gray market, which is why a working group was formed for dealing with that matter a month and a half ago.

Last week, 1.2 million packs of cigarettes were destroyed, while an action to prevent illegal trade in petrol and petroleum products is being conducted with the Ministry of Energy, said Ljajić.

Ljajić noted that there is a problem because of the import of large quantities of chocolate and confectionery products, mainly from Hungary and Bulgaria, where they do not pay duty or VAT, and where such goods end up on the market without proper declaration.

He pointed out that the Ministry is working together with the Chamber of Commerce to define what kind of declaration these products must have and said that the closing of the stands is pending if products do not have a proper declaration.

When asked about the increase in VAT on bread, milk, meat, flour, sugar and cooking oil and about price increase for these products, Ljajić replied that the estimates indicate that a VAT increase of two percent could affect the prices, adding “we are not happy about VAT increase”.

As for the question concerning the sale of Chinese goods in Novi Beograd, Ljajić said that the question in that case is not only about goods on the black market, but also about unfair competition and that it affects domestic textile manufacturers the most.

Ljajić, who is also the minister of telecommunications, referring to the competition for the frequencies of TV Avala, said that the part of the frequency required for digitalization was obtained, and the extended initial signal was activated covering 80 percent of the population, which is a great thing for the country.

According to him, digitalization in Serbia will be completed before the deadline, i.e. by 2015.